How To Stop And Reverse Cat Hair Loss
“Cat hair loss is not always a problem, with shedding a natural part of a cat’s life. Cat’s shed more during warm weather months. Shedding also varies by breed. The biggest difference between normal shedding and hair loss that isn’t normal is when new hair doesn’t replace any thinning hair or bald patches. A cat that is losing hair has multiple potential causes including flea allergy, excessive licking, mange, ringworm, stress and thyroid disease . Treatment is based on diagnosing and eliminating the underlying cause.”
Excessive amounts of cat hair loss is not normal an canindicate some type of underlying disease. Cat’s normally shed, withmore hair loss during warm spring and early summer months. Italso varies by breed. If your cat is losing hair, but thehair is then replaced, then this could be normal for your cat. If the feline hair loss results in a thin or bare area, thenyou should consider problems that are not normal.
The location where a cat is losing hair can indicate thecause as described below.
Causes Of Feline Hair Loss
Noticing your cat is losing a large amount of hair can be quite alarming, but there are many reasons for hair loss in cats. Some, such as fleas, are easy to treat others require the help of a veterinarian. Either way, learning about the causes can help you get your cat the help he needs.
Why Is My Cats Hair Coming Out In Clumps About Feline Alopecia
Due to stress or some other underlying factors, our hair can start falling out in chunks, leaving bald patches all over.
The same thing can happen to felines. Alopecia in cats is a somewhat common issue, and it comes in a few forms. It can be partial or complete, and the cat can lose hair symmetrically or in entirely random order.
The problem is feline alopecia can be caused by practically anything and everything. Some of the triggers require extensive testing, especially since some cats can be born with it.
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Why Is My Cat S Hair Falling Out And Losing Weight
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What Causes Hair Loss In Cats And Dogs
A Hairy Hairless Situation
All cats, even so-called hairless breeds, shed fur, but excessive or site-specific hair loss can indicate a variety of medical conditions.
If your cat loses an abnormal amount of hair on his underside — enough so that you’re reading up about it on the Internet — schedule a veterinarian appointment. This is doubly important if your cat is obsessively biting, licking or scratching his underside, as this behavior can lead to secondary wounds and infections.
If left untreated, hair loss itself leads to hairballs, but its underlying cause can develop into a serious medical condition.
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How Is Alopecia Treated
Treating alopecia depends on the cause behind your cat’s hair loss. Once your vet has run some tests they will be able to recommend flea control products or an anti-fungal treatment if they discover parasites or ringworm.
Treatment of allergic skin diseases can take a little longer but, with the help of a veterinary dermatologist, once the offending food or substance is found, a plan can be put in place to avoid it.
If stress-related over-grooming is suspected, your vet may refer you to a veterinary behaviourist who can help identify the cause of the stress and cat hair loss as well as provide you with advice on how to reduce it.
If your vets investigations show that your cat is over-grooming because of pain in their joints or bladder, they will treat the underlying problem with necessary medication. When the pain stops, the cat hair loss will too.
Once the cause for the alopecia in cats has been found, you should hopefully have a happy and healthy pet again!
Cat Losing Hair On Front Legs
There is nothing irritating as seeing your cat losing its beautiful fur on its front legs. To some people, especially those who like walking around with their cats, that is a total shocker because that technically sends a message to other people that you are not taking good care of your cat.
For those who love their cats, they would take them to the physician to be told what is happening with their cats. However, for the dont cares, if their cats were for instance suffering from a bacterial infection, that can spread over the entire front legs under their watch.
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Hire A Professional Groomer
If your cat does not respond well to brushing, or if they have long fur which is particularly prone to getting knotted and tangled, you may prefer to hire a professional cat groomer. These people will know all the tips and tricks, ensuring that your cat gets groomed properly.
If you do use a professional groomer, be sure to ask about their methods. This way, you can make sure that they are going the job properly and you can also pick up some tips of your own!
You could also ask for your groomer to trim your cats fur if you have a long-haired breed. The shorter their fur, the less prone it is to mat. Plus, you dont have to go for an all-over trimmed look. Some skilled groomers will be able to style your cats fur to look super cute and trendy too!
Why Does My Cat Keep Pulling Hair Out
Its scary to find your cat frantically pulling out its own hair. This is not natural behavior. While cats do groom themselves and remove shed hair, its not excessive. A cat thats removing large clumps regularly is experiencing a serious health issue.
You may even find the cat biting, yowling, and scratching at itself. If you find your cat pulling out fur and losing weight, youll need the intervention of a vet. It could mean that your cat is dealing with:
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Cat Losing Hair: Why It Happens And How To Help
If you notice that your cat is losing hair, its important to determine if the hair loss is normal or abnormal. Cats can lose their hair for many different reasons. Shedding, for example, is an example of normal hair loss. Outside of typical shedding, hair loss is generally abnormal and requires investigation.
Excessive Grooming In Cats
If your cat appears to be healthy otherwise, its possible that over-grooming to reduce stress also known as displacement grooming may be whats happening. Displacement grooming, which is considered to be rooted in anxiety, may serve to lower a cats stress level, help calm her and deflect aggression from other individuals. It is common to see a cat whos in a stressful situation suddenly begin to groom herself.
Over time, this displacement behavior can become independent of the initial stressor and eventually become compulsive in nature. This condition is known as psychogenic alopecia. This type of alopecia generally occurs on the inner forelimbs, the rear area of the abdomen, the groin region, the tail and/or the lower back area, and it may or may not be symmetric. The hair loss occurs only in places that can be reached by the cats tongue secondary skin changes, such as redness or bumps, are rarely evident.
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How To Tell If Your Cat Is Losing Weight
It is hard to tell if your cat is really losing weight if it happens gradually. If your cat has a lot of hair or used to be slightly overweight, then it can be harder to tell when weight loss has occurred.
To assess your cat’s body condition, start by looking at your cat’s body from above. At an ideal weight, there should be a tuck at the waist that is noticeable but not extreme. Next, run your hands along your cat’s sides. The ribs should be palpable with a thin covering of fat. If the ribs feel very prominent and are visible, your cat is likely underweight.
Will My Cats Hair Grow Back
Fortunately, in most cases your cats hair will grow backprovided he has been properly diagnosed and treated. There is a chance that hair will not regrow if your cat experienced abnormal hormone levels that caused the hair follicles to die.
Cat hair loss is most likely caused by overgrooming. You can attempt to prevent alopecia in cats by using flea and tick prevention on your cat, as well as keeping him stimulated and as stress-free as possible.
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Ask Our Vet A Question About Cat Hair Loss
Have a question about cat hair loss? Our veterinarian will answer it for free. To help provide the best answer possible, please include your cat’s medical history such as age, breed, medications, skin condition, location your cat is losing hair and any changes in behavior. Please include a picture if you can.We will do our best to answer questions quickly . If you need an immediate response we suggest using this online cat veterinary answer service that is available 24 hours a day.
Signs And Symptoms To Expect
The following are the symptoms that may accompany a cat losing hair on its tail:
- Partial or total hair loss on tail
- The surrounding skin may be red, swollen or have bumps and scabs
- Your feline friend will be dull or weak
- Licking, chewing or scratching the affected area
- Dry and flaky skin
Note that, this is a summary of possible symptoms. The exact symptoms for your case will depend on the causes, i.e., the symptoms of a cat losing fur on the tail would vary depending on the underlying cause, and so would be the treatments.
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Diagnosis Of Cat Hair Loss
Your veterinarian will examine hair in both healthy patches and whereit is being lost. The first test is to determine if the hair can bepulled out with a simple pull or broken off.
If the hair is easily broken or removed an examination of the skin isdone looking for different types of lesions. Your veterinarian will tryand determine if any redness was caused by itching or ifthere is another cause. There are several diagnostic steps:
If your cat does not respond to either of the above yourveterinarian will recheck your cat for parasites after 4 weeks or lookfor food allergy as a cause of the condition.
Causes of Hair Loss Nash, Holly DVM
Diagnoses: Shake and Stir and Add a Twist of Dermpath: The Cat with NonInflammatory AlopeciaBurrows, Mandy
Symptoms Of Fleas In Cats
- Black spots on the skin. This is flea excrement
- Moving dots in a cats coat. Fleas are very tiny and have large legs to hop around
- Reddish spots flea dirt
If you suspect your cat has fleas, you have to get rid of them immediately.
Sebaceous adenitis is a skin condition that destroys the sebaceous glands.
The sebaceous glands secrete sebum which lubricates the skin.
When these glands are destroyed, a cats skin will dry up, and hair will start falling.
Feline atopy stems from environmental allergens like pollen, mold, or dust.
Cats also get atopy from allergic reactions to food.
This causes excessive itching in the entire body.
A cat would repeatedly scratch itself to find relief.
In the process, he loses a lot of hair.
Solar dermatitis, as the name hints, is dermatitis caused by sunburns.
Extreme sunburn causes the skin to dry up, flake, and loses hair.
Solar dermatitis affects the nose and ears as well.
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Diagnosis Of Cat Alopecia
First your veterinarian will examine the characteristics of the hair loss. She will likely check for fleas and flea dirt. If the veterinarian believes that the hair loss is due to a skin issue, then a skin biopsy or culture may be done.
Apart from fleas, allergies can cause hair loss. Some cats develop wounds called eosinophilic granuloma complex that can become very large.
A blood serum chemistry panel is often done to determine if there are thyroid or other hormonal imbalances causing the alopecia. Various imaging tools, such as X-rays and ultrasounds, are used to rule out signs of cancer or abnormalities in the adrenal glands.
Will Hair Grow Back
For most cases of hair loss affecting cats the hair will grow back if effective treatment is administered to treat the cause. Some cats that experience hair loss as a result of illness may be more susceptible to other episodes of baldness in the future depending on the cause, whilst some cats may notice no future occurrences.
For many cat owners, bald patches can be an early sign that their cats health may need some attention, particularly if they have known issues with their thyroid or are susceptible to stress. If you notice and baldness or hair loss on your cat thats out of the ordinary, you should seek medical attention as soon as possible.
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Catch Tangles & Knots Early
If you cannot commit to regular or daily brushing, and dont want to take your cat to a professional groomer, the least you should do is keep an eye out for tangles and knots and catch them early on. Even if you do groom your cat regularly, tangles can still form in between grooming sessions.
The earlier you catch a tangle, the easier it will be to remove and vice versa. Therefore, get into the habit of checking your cats coat for knots every time you pet or groom her. Problem areas should be your main focus, which includes places like the groin and rear, under the collar, between the back legs, and behind the ears.
This is more important for a long hair cat as matted fur is more common and can help catch small tangles. You can rid of them early on before they become hard-to-deal-with mats. Also, this will give you a chance to check for any skin damage too, such as cuts, bruises, or swelling.
What Is The Cause Of Bald Patches On Cats
There are many potential causes of bald patches on cats. Some can be a bigger cause for concern than others. If you notice any significant hair loss you should visit the vet immediately to find the cause and ensure your cat receives effective treatment. Weve described some of the potential causes below to help you spot similarities to your cats hair loss.
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Use A Wide Tooth Comb
If you have a short-haired cat with matted fur or not a severely matted cat, you may simply be able to brush the matted clumps out by using a wide-tooth comb. Always opt for a wide-tooth comb over a regular brush as the bigger gaps between the teeth will help ease the pain. However, simply tugging at the tangles can still cause a lot of pain for your feline!
Therefore, follow these steps to ensure the process is as comfortable as possible.
If brushing your cats matted fur doesnt work, try one of the methods below instead.
Why Is My Cats Hair Coming Out In Clumps Other Conditions To Keep In Mind
- Arthritis: In some cases, localized pain may be to blame if the cat is losing chunks of fur. It may decide to lick the parts that are in pain until theyre bald to get some relief.
- Medication Side Effects: Some conditions, such as allergies and irritable bowel syndrome, may require the use of steroids, specifically prednisone. Although it could help with inflammation and management of cancer , one of its side effects is alopecia.
- Stud tail: In case of uninterrupted secretion of the supracaudal glands sebaceous glands, the cat may have a waxy patch and blackheads at the base of its tail. This is a skin disease called a stud tail that can be treated with antibiotics or neutering. The use of antiseborrheic shampoos is advised as well.
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